Editorial Note

The American, British, and French Foreign Ministers signed the “Agreement on Basic Principles for Trizonal Fusion” on April 8 at the conclusion of their meetings in Washington on Germany. The agreement defined the basic principles to govern the exercise of Allied powers and responsibilities. By the terms of the agreement the three Western governments undertook to enter into complete fusion of their zones of occupation in Germany prior to the entry into effect of the Occupation Statute. It was also agreed to complete necessary arrangements for establishing tripartite control machinery in Western Germany to become effective at the time of the establishment of a provisional government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

On the basis of the Occupation Statute and the Trizonal Fusion Agreement tripartite negotiations proceeded in the tripartite Committee on Allied Controls during April and May regarding a charter for the Allied High Commission for Germany. The agreed text of the charter was perfected during informal tripartite discussions carried forward in Paris during the course of Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, May 23–June 20. For the text of the Charter, signed by the Western Foreign Ministers in Paris on June 20, see 2 UST (pt. 1) 691, or Germany 1947–1949, pages 92–97. For an authoritative account of the negotiation of the Charter for the Allied High Commission, see Plischke, High Commission, pages 21–27.

The Charter of the Allied High Commission for Germany provided for the establishment of the High Commission, defined its structure and functions, and specified some of its procedures. The Trizonal Fusion Agreement of April 8 was added as an annex to the Charter. Three secret agreed minutes were appended to the Charter and interpreted a number of its provisions. The first agreed minutes stated that the nature and extent of the controls in the Charter would be in accordance with the “Agreed Memorandum Regarding the Principles Governing the Exercise of Powers and Responsibilities of the United States, United Kingdom, and France”, concluded at Washington on April 8 (see p. 178). The other two agreed minutes defined the relationships of the Charter to the International Authority for the Ruhr and the Western military command in West Berlin. For the text of the agreed minutes, which were not released to the public, see Tab 12 of the Basic Documents Regarding Germany (762A.00/3–150).

While negotiations were going on regarding the Charter of the Allied High Commission for Germany, other steps were being taken [Page 268] toward the establishment of the Allied High Commission. On May 12 the Military Governors for Germany accepted the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany and promulgated the Occupation Statute. General Clay was released from his duties as United States Military Governor and left Germany on May 15. French Military Governor General Koenig resigned and left Germany soon thereafter. John J. McCloy was appointed United States High Commissioner for Germany on May 18. Subsequently André François-Poncet was designated the French High Commissioner. British Military Governor Sir Brian Robertson continued as the British High Commissioner. The position of United States High Commissioner for Germany was formally established under Executive Order 10062, June 6, 1949 (see Germany 1947–1949, pp. 182–183). McCloy was placed under the immediate supervision of the Secretary of State, subject to consultation with and the ultimate direction of the President. McCloy, who also was the representative in Germany for the Economic Cooperation Administration, served as United States Military Governor in Germany from his arrival in July until the establishment of the Allied High Commission in September. For an authoritative discussion of the creation of the office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany and the appointment of McCloy, see The U.S. High Commissioner for Germany.

Between July 16 and September 16, the Western Military Governors for Germany held six final meetings devoted to arrangements for the assumption of authority by the Allied High Commission for Germany. Meanwhile, elections for the first Bundestag were held on August 14, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat held their first meetings in Bonn on September 7, the two houses elected Theodore Heuss the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Bundestag elected Konrad Adenauer Chancellor of the Federal Republic on September 15. Chancellor Adenauer and his principal ministers called upon the Allied High Commissioners for Germany at their headquarters at the Petersberg near Bonn on September 21. Later that same day, the Council of the Allied High Commission held its first formal meeting and issued a “Declaration Concerning the Entry into Force of the Occupation Statute”. For the text of the Declaration, see Germany 1947–1949, p. 323. For a photograph of the Allied High Commissioners signing the Declaration, see following page 642. These ceremonies marked the termination of military government in Western Germany, the entry into force of the Occupation Statute, and the coming into existence of the Allied High Commission for Germany. The events attending the establishment of the Allied High Commission are “authoritatively described in Plischke, High Commission, Chapter II.